Cover photo for Russell B.  Bays's Obituary
Russell B.  Bays Profile Photo

Russell B. Bays

August 25, 1945 — November 29, 2019

Russell B. Bays

Russell B. Bays, 74, of Bucyrus passed away Friday, November 29, 2019 at OSU Wexner Medical Center after over a year of very poor health.

He was born in Columbus on August 25, 1945, the third of 11 children, to the late Lloyd E. and Etta Jane (Dunn) Bays. Russell attended several schools while growing up and graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1965. Later that year, he joined the Air Force and served in Vietnam. He was privileged to be aboard an Honor Flight in April 2018. Russell was married to Bonna Beller on January 29, 1966 and she survives.

After his service, the Bays returned to Bucyrus and Russell worked for Tecumseh and GE briefly before he joined The Timken Co. and worked in heat treat for 31 years. After retirement he worked part-time at the Mansfield St. BP station. His penmanship was always excellent, and Russell took up calligraphy and sign making as a side business. He was a member of American Legion Post 181 and Masonic Lodge; former member and president of the Bucyrus Lions Club; and member of the former Bucyrus Jaycees and Horseshoe Clubs. An avid bowler, Russell coached youth bowling for several years. He and Bonna worshiped at Calvary Baptist Church where he occasionally sang in the choir.

Russell will be remembered as a fun guy who was always up for a good time. He was very crafty, enjoyed woodworking and taking care of his home. He also enjoyed motorcycles and rode several models over the years including a Honda Gold Wing.

Russell is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonna Bays; sons, Richard (Cindy) Bays and Philip D. (Shanna) Bays; grandchildren, Richard B. Bays, Eric Bays, Latasha Bays, Philip M. Bays, and Nickolus Bays; great grandchildren, Jakob Orewiler and Kyla Bays; siblings, Leonard (Mary) Bays, Samaria Horner, Charlotte Denny, Audra (Ken) Lyvers, Roxann (Jim) Gerstenslager, Joe (Colleen) Bays, Betty (Mark) Willis, Evelyn (Gary) Lane, and Dale (Kim) Bays; sister-in-law, Judy Bays; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brother, Richard Bays.

Russell’s graveside funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 4 at 1:00 pm in Oakwood Cemetery. Pastor Ken Lance will officiate, and services will conclude with military rites by the US Air Force Honor Guard and Bucyrus Veterans Military Funeral Detail.

Memorial donations can be made payable to Honor Flight Network and given through Wise Funeral Service. Memories can be shared on Russell’s Tribute Wall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell B. Bays, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Funeral

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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